Apr 29, 2010

Overwhelmed by your marketing plan?

Marketing is a never-ending task.  There are always more phone calls to return, more networking events, more emails to craft, more industry trend reading to do, more trade shows, more “to do” lists and less time to accomplish it all. What do you do when marketing’s got you down?

Lately, I’m finding people running around like crazy. I hear them say there’s no time to slow down because the competition in the market is so intense. Putting in overtime, bringing work home, working on weekends all seem to be today’s reality. Does this sound familiar? What do you do when the thought of taking on one more project sends you over the edge?

Here are some ideas to get you through to the next moment:

1. Breathe. Stop what you are doing and take several deep breaths. On the inhale, hold for a moment then slowly release your breath. Breathing deeply will help give you clarity, focus and a moment of peace.

2. Listen to music you like. Maybe it’s a quick beat or perhaps it’s a slow, romantic tune – music helps distract you from the hectic pace and puts you in a different frame of mind.

3. Unless you’re driving or doing something requiring intense focus, close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes. If you’re not into meditation, try a visualization exercise. Take a few deep breaths and imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful place far away. Maybe you are on a hammock on a warm sunny beach or perhaps you find yourself skiing down a cool mountaintop. Take a mini vacation from your present reality and visualize another calming environment.

4. Take a walk or move around. Any form of exercise from walking and jogging to doing neck rolls, push up’s or leg lifts will stimulate blood flow and help relieve stress. A walk around the building and moving your body is a great way to break the pattern of going from one task to the next.

5. Get out in nature. Being outdoors in nature is a cure-all for me! Even if it’s just getting a moment of fresh air, taking yourself outside a confined office space will change your entire perspective and allow you to interrupt the build -up of stress.

Apr 12, 2010

Making the Most of the Written Word

Print materials are the staple of marketing and communication initiatives. Non-profits need effectively packaged information to promote their message and communicate with their clients, volunteers, and donors. Effective collateral material can be the most cost-effective and successful way of marketing your cause.

A wide variety of materials can be used to get your message across, including brochures, business cards, letterhead, product packaging, press and media kits, direct mail pieces, advertising, newsletters, announcements, and letters.

Any marketing piece requires three components for success:
  • Good design- it has to capture the reader's attention, use color appropriately, and balance appropriate amounts of white space, and text.
  • Good writing- not only grammatically correct, but easy to understand and persuasive without being overbearing.    
  • Solid strategy.  The best constructed marketing piece has no value if it collects dust on a shelf.  Collateral should be integrated with the rest of your sales and marketing efforts, including web design, trade shows, special events, and promotions.
Effective use of non-profit promotions can turn your marketing efforts into an exciting and rewarding experience. The key to successful promotions is often as simple as creativity, simplicity, and strategy.